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Is A New Housing Crisis Brewing In Spain?

Is A New Housing Crisis Brewing In Spain?

Authored by Nick Corbishley via,

Spain is one of the European economies that…



Is A New Housing Crisis Brewing In Spain?

Authored by Nick Corbishley via,

Spain is one of the European economies that was hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus crisis, in part because of its huge dependence on tourism. In fact, according to figures published in February by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Spain is the OECD country (out of 38) where the real income of families has fallen the most since the pandemic. It is also the EU country that has suffered the biggest fall in per-capital income since 2020, and has been overtaken on this indicator by Slovenia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Now, after years of falling real incomes, millions of families are facing skyrocketing mortgage payments as a result of the European Central Bank’s rapid-fire interest rate hikes.

Blame Game Begins

The blame game has already begun in central government circles. After taking a thrashing in the recent local and regional elections, Pedro Sánchez’s government now faces an uphill slog in next month’s generals. As mortgage costs surge, the government is desperate to pin responsibility on the European Central Bank (ECB) and its Spanish subsidiary, the Bank of Spain. Asked in an interview about the state of the Spanish economy and the potential impact of the ECB’s latest round of interest rate hikes on Spanish homeowners, Spain’s Economy Minister Nadia Calviño said:

“You need to ask [Luis de] Guindos, [Vice President of the European Central Bank], and [Fernando] De Cos [governor of the Bank of Spain]; they are the Spaniards behind the rise in mortgages.”

Calviño is right, of course. So, too, was Sánchez himself when he said on Tuesday that “the [Spanish] Government has no powers over monetary policy.” But his government — like all EU governments — is partially to blame for high inflation due to its ongoing support for sanctions on Russia, Europe’s biggest provider of energy and other vital commodities. This is, without doubt, one of the main drivers behind the massive surge in Europe’s energy prices and overall inflation.

But the mere fact that Spain’s prime minister and economy minister are both trying to shift the burden of responsibility for rising mortgage rates to the central bankers is notable, since senior politicians rarely blame central banks for anything unless they are in a truly tight squeeze. Of course, Sánchez could have added that Spain’s central bank also doesn’t have any meaningful influence over monetary policy in Spain, since Spain’s government handed all decision making powers in that arena to the ECB when it joined the euro at the start of this century.

For Spain, where the consumer price index (CPI) clocked in at a relatively low 3.2% in May, further interest rate hikes are no longer necessary, said Calviño, adding a caveat: the ECB needs to consider Europe “as a whole.” And in the Euro Area as a whole average inflation was 6.1% in May — almost double the rate in Spain. In six countries, all of them in Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Czechia and Poland), inflation is still above 10%.

The ECB embarked on its current hiking path in July 2022, when it increased its main deposit rate from -0.5% to 0%. Since then it has hiked a further seven times, to the current rate of 3.5%, the highest level since 2001. All of this is apparently necessary to squeeze as much life out of the economy as possible by smothering consumer demand, triggering a recession, destroying millions, with the ostensible goal of bringing down inflation to a more manageable level. This ignores the fact that surging prices are, to a large extent, the result of supply-side factors, including, of course, the boomerang effects of the EU’s 11 sanctions packages against Russia, its biggest energy supplier.

While inflation has indeed fallen, the Euro Area, like the US, still has negative real rates. Meanwhile, the ECB’s rapid rate hikes are triggering all sorts of unpleasant after effects — many of them intended. They include rapidly rising costs for homeowners as mortgage rates surge. Spain is particularly vulnerable to this trend since around three-quarters of its mortgage holders have variable rate loan contracts linked to the ECB’s deposit rate, although they are generally adjusted only once a year.

Housing Bust 2.0?

Spain has already witnessed one of the most spectacular housing booms and busts of this still rather young century. During the peak of the boom phase, from 2003-05, around 700,000 homes were being built per year, more than were being built in Germany, France, Italy and the UK combined, with an aggregate population four times greater than Spain’s. By the time the dust from the subsequent bust had largely settled, in around 2015, over 600,000 families had lost their homes (and bear in mind that in Spain mortgages are recourse, meaning that banks can — and in most cases did — go after the borrower for all outstanding debt once the house is resold).

In recent years banks, builders, large real estate developers and the previous Rajoy government have done everything they can to create a new housing bubble, with a certain degree of success. By 2019 prices in some of the country’s biggest property markets, such as Madrid, Barcelona and some of the coastal and island markets, had regained much but not all of the ground lost in the previous bust. However, in other less desirable markets, home prices had barely risen, and in some they were below where they had been in Q1 2015, when the national low point occurred.

In 2020, the year of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Spain’s housing market stalled — as it did in most countries — before picking up pace once again in 2021. In 2022, the total number of residential property sales reached 650,000, their highest level in 15 years.

But that partial recovery is now in serious danger. As I reported in late November, in Something Just Cracked in Spain’s Mortgage Market, Spain was one of the first European countries to introduce emergency measures to blunt the impact of rapidly rising interest rates on families already struggling with soaring inflation:

As data from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics shows, 72% of newly signed mortgages in August were fixed rate while 28% were variable rate. But this is a relatively new trend. In 2020, the ratio was roughly 50/50. In 2016, 90% of all new mortgages were variable rate and in 2009 it was a staggering 96%.

The result is that roughly four million of Spain’s 5.5 million mortgage holders have variable rate mortgages. Of those just over one million qualified for the government’s relief package. The measures, which will be in force for two years, are meant to help families adapt more gradually to the new interest rate environment. To qualify for the relief, a household must have annual income of less than €29,400. Their mortgage burden must also represent more than 30% of their income and their monthly instalments must have increased by at least 20% due to the ECB’s recent rate hikes.

Since the publication of that post, property demand in Spain has begun to sag. In fact, sales began to stagnate in December 2022. In April, just 27,000 mortgages were signed, 18% fewer than the same month of last year. None of this should come as a surprise given the ECB has increased Euro Area benchmark interest rates from 1.5% to 3.5% since November. For holders of variable-rate mortgages, this has meant having to pay significantly more in monthly instalments, just as prices for many basic goods, including food, have also soared. From Capital Madrid:

According to data from the Bank of Spain, families have allocated 41.5% of their income so far in 2023 to pay their mortgage payments, generated added expenses of €18 billion in the first two months of the year. A report from a specialised agent has analysed data from more than 2,000 transactions closed between May 2022 and May 2023 and the outlook is bleak as a result of the rise in interest rates.

According to data from the firm Housfy, the forecast for the increase in the cost of the average mortgage payment in Spain by the end of the year is that it exceeds €5,000 per year on average. “Everything will depend on how we progress in the last quarter, but we can predict that the increases will significantly affect families,” says David Espiago, director of the banking business at Housfy. According to data from INE (the National Statistics Institute), over the past year year the average mortgage payment in Spain has increased by €256, monthly, and €3,073, annually.

As I noted in my previous article, the government’s mortgage relief package almost certainly will not cover enough families:

An average income of €29,400 might be enough to qualify someone for a 25- or 30-year mortgage in one of the more impoverished parts of Spain, such as Extremadura, parts of Andalusia, Castilla la Mancha, Murcia, Ceuta and Melilla, but it will not get you a mortgage in the main centers of economic activity such as Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca and San Sebastian. Many mortgage holders in these cities are also struggling with rising costs but they will not qualify for the mortgage relief — unless, of course, the relief package is expanded.

That is where we may soon be headed. In the past few days, Work Minister Yolanda Díaz — whose success at restoring workplace protections has made her one of Spain’s more popular politicians — has proposed issuing a one-off €1,000 “bonus” to all households with variable-rate mortgages — as long as the loan is in its first 10 years of life and was issued for a primary residence worth up to €300,000. Díaz argues that such a measure is necessary to cushion the impact of the “double inflation” (rising prices of basic goods and services together with fast-rising mortgage instalments) battering these households.

Around a million families would qualify for the emergency bonus, Díaz says, meaning it would cost a total of around $1 billion. It would apparently be financed through a windfall tax on bumper bank profits introduced at the beginning of the year.

But Diaz’ proposal has met with scathing criticism, including among her own coalition partners. Spain’s Economy Ministry argues that the emergency bonus would amount to a transfer of income from all taxpayers to the banks, since they would be the ultimate recipients:

We are not surprised that the banks want the cost of the measures to fall on the public sector. What astonishes us is that this proposal can have the support of someone other than the People’s Party, which defends the interest of financial institutions.

The Ministry kind of has a point. After all, the last financial crisis ended up crushing the standard of living and work opportunities of millions of (particularly young) Spaniards, large numbers of whom ended up migrating to northern Europe and Latin America. All of this was captured in the 2019 edition of the Bank of Spain’s Triannual Family Financial Survey, which I covered for WOLF STREET at the time. Between 2010 and 2017, the median gross income of heads of households under the age of 35 plunged 18%, from €27,700 to €22,800. Millenials’ median wealth collapsed 92% to €5,300, for the main reason that after the crisis almost all under-35s have been financially excluded from the property market, largely due to their shrinking incomes levels.

Many of these people can barely afford to make rent, which has been rising in many regions for the best part of the past decade, let alone subsidise struggling mortgage holders. But as far as I can see, there are only two other alternatives.

One is to force banks to share the economic pain by sharply limiting the amount by which mortgage instalments can rise.

This is already happening in Greece, where the four largest banks will have to absorb any further interest rate hikes on mortgage loans from May 2023 to May 2024, in order to help households cope with rising housing costs. But for the life of me, I cannot see any Spanish government doing this, particularly one consisting of the conservative People’s Party and far-right VOX, the most likely victors in the next elections.

The other alternative is to do nothing, but that risks triggering another housing crisis.

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/24/2023 - 08:10

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Chinese Data Dump Steamrolls Expectations, Setting Victorious Stage For Xi’s BRI Address

Chinese Data Dump Steamrolls Expectations, Setting Victorious Stage For Xi’s BRI Address

With Xi preparing to address delegates from 130 nations…



Chinese Data Dump Steamrolls Expectations, Setting Victorious Stage For Xi's BRI Address

With Xi preparing to address delegates from 130 nations around the world at the third Belt and Road Initiative Forum, we should not be too surprised if the deluge of Chinese macro data tonight - headlined by Q3 GDP - will beat expectations.

In fact, as Bloomberg's Chang Shu and David Qu noted, China’s recovery could be starting to get some traction, supported by stronger public investment and monetary easing, as weekly activity data rebounded in September...

...and overall China data has surprised more to the upside in recent months (admittedly against very weak expectations)...

However, bear in mind that base effects will dampen the year-on-year readings.

Growth in 2Q23 was flattered by a comparison with a depressed performance in 2Q22 caused by the Zero-COVID lockdowns. That boost will be gone in 3Q23, so most economists will be focused on the QoQ growth.

The Yuan has been relatively stable since the end of Q2, after plunging in Q1 and Q2...

And, despite all the pumping and support, China's Credit Impulse remains negative (for the 5th month in a row) as its real estate market continues to implode sucking up every yuan to fill the hole-filled bucket balance sheet of Chinese citizenry...

Oh and while we are discussing that, China Property Stock gauge plunged to its lowest since 2009...

So, eyes down for a fun night of 'adjustments' from Beijing.

China's GDP growth YoY in Q3 was expected to come in at +4.5% (down from +6.3% in Q2) but most eyes will be focused on the QoQ number (+0.9% exp) due to base effects from the COVID lockdowns.

The headline QoQ GDP printed +1.3% (better than expected).

Helped by a downward revision for Q2 from +0.8% to +0.5%. The headline YoY data beat expectations (+4.9% YoY vs +4.5% exp and +5.2% YTD YoY vs +5.0% YTD YoY exp)...

Industrial Production and Retail Sales beat expectations...



While the data show increasing consumer spending growth, the big downside is that China’s property slump is still deep and ongoing.



Worse still, the area of property sold fell 7.5% in September, lower than -7.1% seen the previous month.

Chinese unemployment miraculously tumbled to 5.0% - the lowest since Oct 2021.

Of course, China continues to hide its youth unemployment rate - after it reached record highs at 21.3% in June.

China's statistics bureau said in the release, overall, China’s economy continued to recover in the first three quarters, laying a “solid foundation” for achieving the full-year development goals. Although, China once again warned of the external environment, saying it is becoming more complex and severe.

Under the hood, the fastest growing retail sales categories relate to vice and virtue.

Tobacco and alcohol sales were up a massive 23.1% year-on-year, a remarkable number (the highest recorded since April 2021). Sports items sales surged 10.7%.

So to sum things up - while investment (especially property) continues to be ugly everything else beat (miraculously)

Michael Hirson of 22V Research says in a note he’s paying most attention to signs of any recovery in household and private sector demand.

Property sales and related indicators will provide a sense of whether recent easing measures are having an effect preliminary data suggest a pick-up in sales in the largest markets (tier 1 and some tier 2) but one that is thus far limited in its strength and breadth,” he wrote in a note.

On the consumption side, August showed some improvement in household spending on goods, rather than just services, and it will be important to see whether there are further signs of progress as reflected not only in monthly retail sales but also the quarterly survey of household income and spending.”

Given his thoughts, property sales and investments data were ugly - not a good sign... and on the consumption side, everyone was celebrating their non-job 'job'.

The bottom line from the data - China bottomed... a perfect narrative for Xi.

Tyler Durden Tue, 10/17/2023 - 21:15

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Pro-Hamas Groups Push Critical Race Theory, Socialism In US

Pro-Hamas Groups Push Critical Race Theory, Socialism In US

Authored by Brad Jones via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A California woman…



Pro-Hamas Groups Push Critical Race Theory, Socialism In US

Authored by Brad Jones via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A California woman sobbed as she learned her friend’s 19-year-old son was kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist group in Israel.

Protesters wave Palestinian flags in support of Palestinians and socialism in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The next day, on Oct. 12, as news of pro-Palestinian “Day of Resistance” rallies spread across the United States, the woman, who is of Jewish heritage and asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, broke the tragic news: Her friend’s son had been murdered by the terrorists.

The same evening, a group of activists in south Los Angeles staged a protest in solidarity with Palestinians. Two days later, demonstrators again rallied—this time thousands gathering near the Israeli Consulate, at one point shutting down the on- and off-ramps to Wilshire Boulevard from the 405 Freeway.

At the Thursday protest, activists equated the plight of Palestinians to those of “indigenous peoples.” They called the Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip an “occupation” steeped in racism. They blamed the “capitalist” Jews and white Europeans for the loss of their “indigenous lands” and called for a socialist revolution.

All resistance to colonial occupation is justified!” shouted one speaker at the event.

Protesters chanted, “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” among other slogans. They blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for children killed in retaliatory attacks on Palestine and condemned Zionism, equating it with South African apartheid, fascism, and Nazism.

Thousands of demonstrators waving Palestinian flags and signs denouncing “Israeli apartheid” march in Los Angeles on Oct. 14, 2023. (David Swanson/AFP via Getty Images)
Julia Wallace of Service Employees International Union speaks in support of Palestinians in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The protest, at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Figueroa Street, was organized by Unión del Barrio and the Association of La Raza Educators and other left-wing activist groups known for their support of critical race theory, or CRT, and the state-imposed ethnic studies program.

Julia Wallace of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spoke out against Zionism. She called for defunding police as “enforcers of capitalism,” saying they should be ousted from the labor union.

Another speaker called for a protest outside the south Los Angeles Police Department station on Oct. 22.

“Let’s take over the police station,” he told the crowd of about 30 supporters.

Meanwhile, an Oct. 16 Reuters/Ipsos poll shows most Americans see Hamas as a terrorist organization, while they view Israel favorably. An Oct. 13 Rasmussen poll found most U.S. voters blame Palestinians for the conflict and agree with calls for the “eradication” of Hamas.

On Oct. 15, thousands of people showing support for Israel rallied in Los Angeles, walking down Pico Boulevard to the Museum of Tolerance.

Demonstrators attend a rally in solidarity with Israel in Los Angeles on Oct. 10, 2023. (Ethan Swope/Getty Images)

Support for Israel

Ric Grenell, a Californian and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany who also served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration, condemned the recent attacks on Israeli civilians.

He stated on Twitter on Oct. 13, the Democratic Socialists of America and student groups that support Hamas “are a real threat to America.”

“Voting for Democrats who support Socialists like @DemSocialists and ‘Sanctuary Cities’ policies will absolutely lead to people entering our country freely who haven’t been vetted by U.S. immigration services. ... We must have laws that protect us against people entering the U.S. who support terrorists like Hamas.

Michael Shellenberger, an author and San-Francisco-based political activist who co-founded the California Peace Coalition and other groups, condemned the terrorist attacks on the Israeli people.

“We unreservedly condemn the atrocities carried out by Hamas and support the right of Israel to defend itself and protect its citizens,” he wrote. “The stories and images of the attack shock the conscience. Nothing on earth could justify such crimes. We condemn those on the radical left who have defended the actions of Hamas terrorists.

“We are pro-Israel, by which we mean we defend its right to exist and its right to defend itself,” he continued. “At the same time, we urge Israel and its supporters, including the United States, to, in their response, abide by international law in general and the Geneva Convention in particular. That means doing everything possible to avoid killing or injuring civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

Kelly Schenkoske, an independent researcher and education advocate, and a critic of critical race theory being taught in California classrooms, denounced the protests pushing critical ideologies.

“We’re seeing protests at college campuses nationwide in support of Palestine, but this issue does not just reside on our college campuses, it resides in the K-12 sector, especially within ethnic studies,” Ms. Schenkoske said.

A Palestinian flag is waved at a rally in support of Palestinians, in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The state-imposed ethnic studies curriculum in California is “filled with radical ideology,” she said.

“The same activists demanding safe schools promote antisemitic ethnic studies content aimed at decolonizing education [and] promoting critical consciousness and training in neo-Marxism. We need to defund antisemitism in schools entirely,” she said.

Deborah Fillman, a former teacher and education analyst based in North Carolina, told The Epoch Times that California schools are teaching “lies” as historical information through its ethnic studies programs.

They’re doing it under the guise of social justice, which is false. There’s no justice that can come from murder. There is no legitimate resistance that comes from the wanton slaughter of innocent civilians,” she said.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is a Hamas slogan that means “all the Jews have to go—the eradication of Israel,” said Ms. Fillman, who is Jewish.

The pro-Palestinian protestors aren’t calling for a two-state solution but are instead supporting Hamas when they chant those words, she said.

“It is literally a war crime—every single thing [Hamas] did—including using their own people as human shields,” Ms. Fillman said.

Colonizer Versus Oppressed

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a co-founder and director of the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that combats antisemitism, told The Epoch Times that proponents of ethnic studies have used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “as a way to essentially beat up their political enemies.”

The pro-Palestinian protestors are using the tenets of critical race theory to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of the colonizer and the oppressed, she said.


“It’s the whole binary oppressed-oppressor [concept] at the heart of ethnic studies that they’ve expanded to talk about politics and international politics,” she said. “In this case, their political agenda aligns up with Hamas’s political agenda which is to destroy Israel.”

Hamas doesn’t talk about colonialism, she said.

“It talks about Holy War, it talks about jihad,” and it calls for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from what it considers Muslim lands, Ms. Rossman-Benjamin said.

The recent “beheading of babies, rape, kidnapping, and massacres” represent the worst and largest number of atrocities committed against Jews since the World War II Holocaust, she said.

For Jews, this is really unprecedented in two generations,” she said.

The AMCHA Initiative issued a statement saying it is “shocked and horrified at the gruesome massacre of over 900 Israelis—children, mothers, grandmothers, fathers, entire families—hundreds of them gunned downed at a music festival ... reports of rape and torture, and an estimated over 100 Israelis kidnapped, including children, the elderly, a Holocaust survivor, young women, teenagers, and families.”

The Jewish community in the U.S. is now bracing for more pro-Palestinian protestors across dozens of university campuses expressing support for “this genocidal campaign,” AMCHA stated.

The Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and more than 30 other student groups recently signed a statement arguing that Israel’s “apartheid regime” is entirely to blame for the attacks. However, following public backlash, at least five organizations that initially signed the letter withdrew their support.

“We will work hard to expose and combat on-campus supporters and apologists for terror, especially the faculty and departments who provide academic legitimacy for the murder of Jews while disingenuously wrapping themselves in the mantle of academic freedom,” AMCHA stated. “Our hearts are broken, but our resolve is not. We stand united with the Jewish people in Israel and around the world.”


At the University of California—Santa Cruz (UCSC), the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) department, which studies “race intersectionality in the context of power,” put out a statement Oct. 11 in support of the Palestinian people.

“In this moment—when we are grieving lives lost, fearing the many more to come, and witnessing Israel once again retaliate against a trapped Palestinian population in Gaza—we want to underscore the need for study,” CRES stated. “What we are witnessing needs to be understood in the context of 75 years of settler colonial displacement, military occupation, and enclosure. As in the past, racialized media coverage dehumanizes Palestinians, delegitimizing their aspirations for freedom from militarism, colonial rule, and incarceration.”

The department claims the world is witnessing “the circulation of technologies that are weaponized against Palestinians first, and, subsequently, our most vulnerable populations in the United States, on our borders and globally,” and cites this as the reason why it supports “the critical study of Zionism.”

The university has received pushback from at least seven members of the faculty, including Ms. Rossman-Benjamin’s husband, Ilan Benjamin, a chemistry professor. On Oct. 4, the group sent a letter to UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive expressing “grave concerns” ahead of the inaugural conference of the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism, held on Oct. 13–14.

Although the conference has been condemned in the Jewish community “for its deeply offensive, antisemitic content and goals,” the letter focuses on the fact the conference is co-sponsored by three academic units at UCSC: the CRES department, the Center for Racial Justice, and the Center for Creative Ecologies, the faculty members wrote.

“While these three units may justify their co-sponsorship as a legitimate expression of academic freedom, we vehemently disagree,” they wrote. “It is an outrage that three departments at a publicly funded university are not only sponsoring a politically motivated and directed conference that limits participation to those who agree with the conference’s antisemitic goals, they are committing their department to embracing these goals, thereby threatening their own faculty and students, and members of the entire campus community. This is not a legitimate expression of academic freedom, but rather an egregious abuse of it.”

Tyler Durden Tue, 10/17/2023 - 20:45

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Top Japanese Energy Trader Warns ‘World Running Short Of LNG For Energy Transition’ 

Top Japanese Energy Trader Warns ‘World Running Short Of LNG For Energy Transition’ 

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plays a pivotal role in…



Top Japanese Energy Trader Warns 'World Running Short Of LNG For Energy Transition' 

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plays a pivotal role in the world's changing energy landscape. By substituting dirtier fuels, LNG curtails carbon dioxide emissions and enhances air quality. This underscores its vital importance in the energy transition. 

Bloomberg recently spoke with Kenichi Hori, president of Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co., who said global LNG demand will likely be much higher than forecasted and the current "pipeline of projects" won't be enough. 

"Announced projects in the world still won't make up for the supply needed when considering the energy transition that will take several decades," Hori said. 

Hori is one of Japan's top traders of LNG and believes, just like Chevron Corp. and Shell Plc, that the fuel will play a crucial long-term role in the energy transition. His comments follow a fracturing of the global LNG market as Europe no longer sources a majority of the fuel from Moscow but instead relies on the US and other countries abroad.  

According to BloombergNEF data, global LNG demand is set to rise 3.4% annually over 2022-26, reaching about 444 million metric tons. This comes as countries and companies view LNG as one of the cleanest fossil fuels that can lower emissions. Bloomberg noted supply will be tight until 2026 - after that, new projects are forecasted to come online. 

Hori pointed out his firm has "projects in the US, Middle East, and Africa" to ensure a diverse supply chain. 

He added his firm is interested in signing a contract with Qatar. He stated the Middle Eastern country is an "important source of LNG" as Japan strives for further diversification. 

Besides LNG, Hori invested $6.4 billion in an offshore wind project off Taiwan and exploring opportunities in e-methanol.  

"All these projects are going to shape the future of our portfolio that is transitioning from a traditional energy business to a low-carbon-intensive era," he said.

Last month, Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman and CEO of service company Baker Hughes, was quoted by Reuters at Gastech, the industry's largest conference in Singapore, as saying, "Natural gas will continue to play a critical role as a bridging and destination fuel for the energy transition."

The biggest takeaway is that LNG has a bright future as it becomes the 'transition fuel' as the world progresses to net-zero emissions by 2050. 


Tyler Durden Tue, 10/17/2023 - 20:25

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